Christmas Hope

Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new a glorious morn.

I listened to Hannah, the lead singer of our band Anthem City, recount how God met her during a time of deep grief when she desperately needed the hope “O Holy Night” proclaims. She told how God used a little girl to show her that He is intent on pursuing us and bringing us peace in the midst of difficulties. Her openness and genuine emotion touched my heart as she spoke.

Hannah was trained as a communicator at our Comm Lab last spring. She will proclaim the hope of Jesus in prisons, homeless shelters, teen centers and elsewhere as Anthem City presents their Christmas Experience concert to thousands in the coming weeks. I’m confident that God will use her story to touch many of those hearts and draw them to Himself.

Our world today is pining because of sin and error, and weary souls are all around—next door, across town, or on the other side of the world. They need to experience the worth and the thrill of hope that Jesus alone brings.

In 2018 we have the opportunity to engage hearts around the world with this message. Through communication training and other creative tools, we are equipping many more people like Hannah to share Christ’s hope with those who desperately need to hear.

Because of your partnership with me as I coordinate communication training events and tools like Comm Lab, many other missionaries and volunteers like Hannah will be equipped to share the hope of Jesus. Thank you for your part in reaching people around the world with the hope of the gospel!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, as I look at the blessings God has given me over the past year, I think of you! Thank you for partnering with me to equip God’s servants to share His message!
Gratefully yours,
Denise

“It’s All About God’s Glory!”

The students in the conference center had just sat down after worshiping God through music. Seth Irby, the worship leader, now taught them from Isaiah 6. As Seth walked them through Isaiah’s awe-inspiring vision of God’s presence filling the temple, he challenged the students to relate it to the purpose of worship. Seth’s passion for God was unmistakable as he declared, “It’s all about God’s glory!”

From September 22-24 we conducted a weekend of worship arts training here at the Cru Indianapolis Office. The training was combined with auditions for the student band that will lead worship for the Cru Indianapolis Winter Conference. I was privileged to help train 53 Cru students from 12 campuses in 6 states.

Our desire was to help them grow both spiritually and in their musical and/or technical skills. Throughout the weekend we encouraged them to use their talents and abilities to serve others and glorify God, rather than to serve or bring glory to themselves.

One student leader sent us the following email after arriving home:

… I was just at the music leadership conference this weekend in Indianapolis. I just wanted to let you know how encouraged I was after this amazing experience. I can’t tell you how much not only I needed this but our campus as well. I am a part of M— University’s Cru and we are so young and vulnerable that this weekend was imperative to future growth. I can see Jesus working so much in the things you are doing and I wanted to encourage you in your missions. I again wanted to thank you for everything you are doing for the Lord!

Through your partnership in ministry with me, you helped to encourage and equip these students. Thank you!

Please pray that the students will grow in skill and servant-heartedness as they begin to apply what they learned during the conference.


PS: I ran the computer for song lyrics and speaker slides during the event (see pictures below). I also taught two clinics about running lyrics and media to equip students who do that job for their campus’s weekly Cru meetings.

First Field Test for “Students Reaching Students”

The training material I helped edit recently called Students Reaching Students is now being field-tested at Taylor University. (Those of you outside the midwest may not know that Taylor is a prestigious non-denominational Christian liberal arts college here in Indiana.)

A small group of students is going on a school-sponsored mission trip to Ecuador during their January break. Cru staff member Darin Buffkin is using Students Reaching Students to equip them to share the good news about Jesus Christ with Ecuadorian students. After the trip, Darin will let us know how well the material worked and if we can improve it in any way.

Please pray that the materials will be effective in preparing the Taylor students for their mission trip and that we will receive valuable feedback as a result of this test.

“Students Reaching Students”

In July I spent a week in Colorado attending Cru’s U.S. staff conference. The theme of the conference was “WITH” – connecting

  • WITH God
  • WITH one another as staff members from different backgrounds and ethnicities
  • WITH people who don’t know Jesus as their Savior
  • WITH other ministries outside of Cru to partner in the work of the gospel.

I was particularly encouraged to hear about some of the partnerships we have been building with others in the body of Christ. God has been bringing together churches and mission organizations worldwide to help give everyone on the planet an opportunity to hear the good news about Jesus.

Cru has started a growing partnership with Christian colleges for short-term international mission trips for their students. Before the trip, Cru staff members train the students in some practical ways to share the gospel in another culture.

"Know God Personally" booklet
A Cru evangelism tool used in “Students Reaching Students”

Our team is pulling together the content used by different trainers and combining it with a few new items into a packet called “Students Reaching Students.” Our goal is to produce a resource that is attractive, engaging, and practical for both students and trainers. I’m excited that I can use my editing skills (for both content and video) to help further this partnership and train new short-term missionaries!

Prayer Requests

  • For the “Students Reaching Students” team: Pray that we will be sensitive to God’s guidance so that we will produce material that will meet the needs of those who will use it
  • For Charlottesville: In light of the recent tragedy pray that God will use His people as beacons of His love and justice, both in Charlottesville and the nation, and that many will turn to Jesus who alone brings true reconciliation with both God and humanity.

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